- May 22, 2017
The sun came out and with it the urge to dine al fresco – but where? Well along to Kemp Town and Block, the new branding for what was Neighbourhood. It’s had a stunning make-over and not just the interior and the very smart garden, but the menu too.
The owner, Mr BG has installed a very smart coal fired oven and given the menu an overhaul to go with it. I arranged to meet Mr S for an early dinner and whilst waiting had a very good G&T to knock the corners of a rather sharp day. When he arrived Mr BG was more than happy to suggest a few dishes to tempt us and so we both agreed to leave it to him, a great idea if you are very hungry.
First out was a grilled cheese salad with pine nuts, a great balance for my crisp glass of white as was the superb octopus with clams and baby artichokes, I could eat that every day and
not get bored. Equally impressive were the scallops served in the shell with a creamy sauce below, I suspect using the corals, and on top a combination of Iberico jamon jam, Jamon jam yes, witty as it was tasty.
Mr S is a wimp when it comes to seafood but tucked into his ox cheek croquettas with gusto and a big grin and I was unable to resist and tucked in too and I loved the crisp pickled red cabbage that came with them. Already I was liking the strong influences of Spanish cuisine, so often unsung.
I liked the strong influences of Spanish cuisine, so often unsung
With the oven in play we both chose to have a steak with a side of fries, well you have to, and creamed spinach with nutmeg. That spinach was heaven, the chips first class and the steaks… well let me put it simply – perfect!
Mr S was slightly mystified that he was not asked how he would like it done. I simply assumed that the chef would know exactly how to get the best from the beef when using the oven – and he certainly did. To be honest I would rather the person who bought the meat and was going to cook the meat decide how best to serve it and as I like my steak rare, that tends to be a process that goes in my favour.
Mr BG, once Mr Clubber, has developed a taste for wines and the list is exciting and packed with real treats. The big red that I had with my beef was brilliant. Mr S was driving but very happy with a San Pellegrino orange and pomegranate.
With the vast array of starters neither of us had space for a pud, which was tragic as I spotted an egg custard tart that could be enjoyed with a glass of Pedro Ximenez so I will have to return for that very soon. Block is good, very good and sensibly priced and arranged, you can use it as a bar, go in for a snack or the full works. Highly recommended!
101 St. James’ Street, Brighton BN2 1TP